Life Sketch of June Talbot Williams
June 2, 1925-May 26, 2011
"Of all the places to love Grandma loved her home the best"
Today we would like to celebrate and remember our Grandmother. We will be sharing excerpts from her life story that she wrote and stories and memories from her family. I will be sharing the memories from the family and I will share in her own words, her life history.
My name is June Talbot Williams. I was born the 2nd of June, 1925 to Andrew Melvin and Miriam Monson Talbot at their home in St. John, Idaho. I was the 7th of 9 children. Two of my sisters died before I was born. The summer I turned 6 years old, we moved into my grandparents home, near ours to take care of my Grandpa Monson after grandma died. I attended school (grades 1-8) at St. John, in the big red brick school house that also served as our ward meeting house at the time.
She rode a horse to elementary school everyday. She wore her Levi’s under her dress and took them off when she got to school. The horse got smart over time and learned to untie the reins leaving Grandma to walk home.
I attended Malad High School, graduating in 1943. World War II was going on. I worked as a secretary in Pocatello, Idaho, after graduation from high school for about a year. I stayed with my Uncle Cash and Aunt Rosalie Talbot. I then got a job for the Soil Conservation Service in Malad as a secretary and moved back to my parent’s home in St. John. I was working there when I met my future husband Leon.
When Grandma and Grandpa were in High school she was an upperclassman and this was when she caught Grandpa’s eye and in his own words she was a “striking young lady”. Grandpa felt it was his patriotic duty to join the service and was called to war. Upon returning home he went to the local hang out the “Chat and Chew” and there sat one of his best friends with his girlfriend and the striking young lady. He was invited to sit with them and over a burger and shake this was the beginning of a match made in heaven. (as popular as she was it took time and persistence for this farm boy to win her heart) The next day Grandpa was talking to Calvin Dredge, Grandma’s brother-in-law, about her and Calvin said “She wouldn’t take a second look at you anyway.” Guess he proved Calvin wrong.
After a short courtship they were in Salt Lake City and walked into a jewelry store. Grandpa led her to the engagement rings. He proceeded to see if there were any she liked and she picked one. Grandpa asked if she would accept it and she said she would. He never officially asked for her hand in marriage.
We were married in the Logan, Utah Temple 20th day of July, 1948. I always said I didn’t want to marry a farm boy, but soon found that that is where Leon’s heart was. Our first child, Kim, was born the 3rd of Nov. 1949, the day before his dad’s birthday. When he was about two years old, we moved to St. John to help my brother Andie and dad run the ranch while my brother Lorin was on his mission. While there our second son Brett was born on his brother’s third birthday. It soon came time for my brother to come home from his mission. Leon had heard about ground being leased from the Indians on the Blackfoot Indian Reservation near Fort Hall, Idaho, and we soon moved from Malad Valley to a farm we leased there.
It was difficult for Grandma to leave her hometown and family and venture to a home with no modern luxuries of running water, electricity or bathroom. Grandpa tells the story of when he would be out doing chores and he’d hear the door to the outhouse close as Grandma left and he would run over and know the seat would be warm.
Our only daughter, Michelle, and three more sons we named Todd, Gregory and Troy, were born during the eleven years we lived there. Leon worked hard raising hay, grain, sugar beets and potatoes. We gradually acquired more machinery, cattle and sheep and leased more ground. It was a good ranch and grew beautiful crops but we decided we needed to buy a place of our own and our family had also outgrown the house by this time. When Kim was an eighth grader and Troy about a year old, we moved to Darlington, Idaho, in Big Lost River Valley, where we had bought 365 acres with a home we planned to remodel. For the past forty-seven years we have lived and farmed in Darlington. The Lord continues to bless us with problems to overcome, which keeps us busy trying to make a living in the farm economy. The best blessing we have received over the years are our six children. They are all married and we now have thirty-six grandchildren and 54 great grandchildren. They have been a joy to raise and following their activities over the years has been our social life. Having five ball players and a cheer leader has provided us with plenty of entertainment. We continue to be football and basketball fans. Track and baseball season finds us extra busy farming but we took time out during their high school years to follow the track team.
Some of Grandma’s happiest times were of watching her grandchildren in their various sports, sometimes traveling 4 nights out of the week to catch as many activities as they could.
Our children have all been sealed in the temple to very special mates and are all active in church callings over the years at ward, stake and regional levels. We are grateful they are teaching their children the gospel as our world continues to grow in wickedness and we pray for success in their efforts.
Many of the grandsons have spent numerous summers working on the farm. One of their most vivid memories would be walking into the house and smelling the aroma of freshly baked bread. Grandma always took pride in preparing home cooked meals. Grandma was such a perfectionist in making bread that the story is told that the grandsons would rush in to get the bread before Grandma threw it out if it wasn’t perfect. Cooking brought her happiness by providing quality meals for the hardworking farm boys. Not only did she provide wonderful meals for her family but she would share her gift of cooking throughout the neighborhood, especially for those in need. Grandma also had a love for sewing; she made most of Michelle’s dresses, all of her prom dresses and both her 8th grade and High School graduation dresses. She also spent many hours making Michelle’s cheerleading outfits and many of the other girls’ cheerleader’s outfits. Some of her other interests include knitting, crocheting and reading. She once received 3 books for Christmas and had them read within a week. Genealogy work was also very significant to her and she spent many hours researching her family. Although she was an excellent homemaker she also enjoyed baling hay. Grandpa tells of times when they would get two balers going and as they would pass in the field he would make loving and sometimes silly hand gestures to her and in return Grandma would sometimes roll her eyes or bat her lashes back at him. Grandma was upset when they upgraded to the ton baler and retired her baler.
We have always lived in small wards which has given me the opportunity for numerous church callings. I have worked in the primary and Relief Society as a counselor and secretary. I served as the Relief Society president of Leslie ward for five years, homemaking counselor and Sunday school secretary. I have enjoyed being organist and chorister for Sunday school and Relief Society. I still have my mother’s piano that Dad gave me after she died. The piano tuner tried to persuade me to replace the worn keys with plastic ones. I told him they were worn that way when I got the piano and I would just keep my mother’s touch! I have never seen an older piano with the middle most played eight keys worn smooth down into the wood like that. My mother received it new from her folks for her 17th birthday.
Through the many years of playing the piano Grandma has carried on the tradition of adding her touch to the worn piano keys. A special memory of Grandpa’s is when he would sneak in and listen to Grandma as she played the piano. Regardless of how busy she was, Grandma enjoyed sitting and listening to her granddaughters as they played the piano and she would drop what she was doing to sit on the couch and tap her foot as they played for her.
As the years go by I become more grateful for my pioneer heritage. I more fully realize how blessed our family is to have had parents and grandparents who were active members of the Church and lived the Gospel principles. They have been an example for me.